I sell jars of salt-brine pickles. Bulk fermentation typically happens August to October. By February, they've softened up considerably.

Is it possible to buy myself a couple extra months by brining and chilling (3C) the cukes immediately after harvest in September, then moving them to ferment temp (18C) weeks or months later to be sold from January onward?

I'm vaguely aware that lower ferment temps favour different organisms. Would this affect the quality of the pickles?

Is there a different way to extend the production cycle of fermented veggies?

  • 1
    The production cycle is years if done properly. I don't understand your logic of trying to extend the shelf life when the pickle is a preservation technique that extend shelf life by years.
    – Neil Meyer
    May 1, 2023 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


As you considered, lower temperature favors other organisms than lactic acid bacteria. If you slow the process of the LAB acidifying the brine, you’ll just get rotten cucumbers after waiting that long.

Calcium chloride is remarkably effective at keeping pickles - including lactofermented pickles - firm. If the thing you don’t like about long-fermented pickles is the texture, a bit (say, 1/8 tsp/qt) of calcium chloride in the brine may get you where you want to be.

And, of course, once your cucumbers have significantly fermented (say, a pH of 4) you can refrigerate them to retard further activity.

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